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Steak: One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef Paperback – 26 Apr 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 290 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (26 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143119389
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143119388
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.6 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 409,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Schatzker has done an ace job of combining interesting historical facts and stories, dense lessons on food and animal science, and amusing accounts of his steak-seeking travels into an entertaining, story-shaped narrative arc --Globe and Mail

Through his passion and intellectual curiosity and sheer power of description, Schatzker builds a narrative that reveals a deep relationship between him and the animal whose flanks and haunches and loins he is so fond of consuming --Associated Press

Schatzker writes with wit, pace and grace, and a gentle, self-deprecating humor that makes him the Bill Bryson of beef --Bloomberg --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Mark Schatzker is an award-winning writer based in Toronto. He is a radio columnist for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation and a frequent contributor to the "Globe and Mail", " Conde Nast Traveler", and "Bloomberg Pursuits". He is the author of "The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor "and "Steak: One Man s Search for the World s Tastiest Piece of Beef".

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very enjoyable book, written by someone with a clear passion for his subject and who has a quite fluent writing style. The author travels to several countries noted for their steak and then buys and raises (and eats) his own cow back in Canada. It is essential reading if you are interested in beef. I am a bit surprised that he does mention Fassone beef in his chapter on Italy, which is certainly one of the highest regarded breeds there, and interesting in a number of ways. He does not visit Germany either, but these are minor quibbles. You are bound to pick up some interesting knowledge and new snippets if you read this book, even if you already know your fillet from your rib eye.
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Format: Paperback
Bizarrely, though I've given up meat, I utterly love this book. There's so much fascinating detail in here, and I particularly loved the section on Japan. Part travelogue, part food journal, part technical handbook... Mark's writing style is very visual, so when he describes the Japanese fish market, he includes the details like the fish weight on the stickers placed over the eyes. There's so much to learn from this book, I wish I'd begun reading it months ago when I bought it!
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By Miran Ali VINE VOICE on 25 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
I thought I knew my steaks but after reading this book a whole new world has opened up. Mark travels around the world, the US, Japan, Italy, France, Scotland and Argentina trying to find out what makes a good steak. Through the visits you also learn a great deal about nutrition and healthy eating. Mark is not some jeremiad like Michael Pollan, so is a lot more fun to read.

My one criticism, in the ebook at least, were the lack of photos. I know what a rib eye looks like, but some of the cuts mentioned are uncommon and images would have helped.

If you care about what you eat, this is an essential book and well worth the read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a bible for anyone really interested in Steak. The stories and examples are worth recreating his global tour!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8c8c7f0c) out of 5 stars 47 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c9ffbdc) out of 5 stars A deep dive into a delicious subject 7 Jun. 2010
By Tomas Mandarina - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading Steak. What I found was an excellent blend of travelogue, food writing, personal journal, and scientific discourse. The book is enjoyable from beginning to end. There is an honesty to the writing, suggesting a deep fascination and passion for the subject matter - steak. And that leads the author to discuss more than just opinions, more than just subjective descriptions of good food that may or may not be accessible to the average person. Schatzker travels all over the world to attempt to uncover why people love steak, what makes steak taste good, and what is wrong with mass produced commoditized beef. He writes about the food and flavor science in an ease that is reminiscent of Malcolm Gladwell or Atul Gawande. The complexity of the subject matter is explained in a story like fashion and that makes it highly digestible (pardon the pun) and fascinating. For a book that is educational, fun and even at times touching, I highly recommend this book.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d06369c) out of 5 stars Beef. It's What's For Dinner...If You Pick The Right Cuts! 24 Dec. 2011
By Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Man - Published on
Toronto-based Slate journalist Mark Schatzker has written a fabulous book about a healthy low-carb delicacy called Steak: One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef. Whether you are a connoisseur of steaks or a beef-eating novice, you're gonna learn so much from what is shared in this book.

Check out what Mark has to share about his personal love for beef and his disappointment with the "mediocre" steaks he was consuming, how his career as a travel and food journalist helped him find the perfect steak, what's wrong with most steaks that people are consuming, the problem of grain-fed beef, why inexpensive steaks aren't necessarily a good thing, how we can get people to want the better quality of beef, the influx of grass-fed beef in conventional grocery stores, why all grass-fed beef is not necessarily good, the parts of the cow that are not as popular but are delicious like the tongue (where it is hugely popular in Japan), the benefits of the various cuts of beef, why cows are supposed to be eating grass to create the protein and fat in beef, why you should never marinate a strip or flank steak, which is his favorite steak and why, his online resource for finding the good steaks vs. the not-so-good steaks, why restaurants aren't necessarily serving the best steaks, how people would find the ranches and farms selling these quality cuts of beef, the most exotic places he visited in his research for his book to find the best steaks, whether grain can play any role in the process of raising cattle, what his thoughts are on promoting grass-fed beef and the alleged lack of pasture land for the cows, why people are more apt to "settle" for inferior cuts of beef, and his future plans for future projects.

If you're not hungry for a sizzling (grass-fed) steak after listening to Mark Schatzker, then you're not livin' la vida low-carb! Get STEAK and eat this one up!
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8ceebbc4) out of 5 stars Lots of fun, lots of information -- a great read! 24 May 2010
By Ed Quigley - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoy "single subject" books like Rice, Sugar, Salt, The Founding Fish, Caviar and so forth. And I have been a perfect-steak-searcher for years. Some background: when I was a kid, my father, whose father was a butcher,would go in with a friend and buy a "side" of beef. He'd have it delivered to the local butcher where it would hang to become "dry aged." On Saturdays we'd go to the butcher shop and watch the butcher scrape off the mold and trim off the dried-out edges and deftly cut off two strip steaks 2 1/4 inches thick. The meat was crimson and "marbled" with intricate traceries of fat. Dad would cook the steak in an iron skillet (as the French do). Always rare. When done he'd put it on a warm plate and then pour red wine in the pan, add a pat of butter, swirl it around over high heat to make a sauce which he'd poured over the steak on the serving plate. That ritual turned me into a steak aficianado.

Schatzker's book is a steak lover's feast. He explores the merits of grass or grain fed beef and much more while taking you on a carnivorous journey around the world, a journey that will introduce you to the most subtle and delightful differences between extraordinaty steak and ordinary meat.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d05975c) out of 5 stars Most Complete Book Ever 21 May 2010
By Paul Butler - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most complete book ever written on the hows and whys of producing the best flavored beef. Also a very enjoyable read for anyone interested in the culture of eating.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d194c60) out of 5 stars Grass Fed Beef Farmer Loves This Subject, AND Book: 2 Dec. 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
A customer of ours at a farmer's market loaned us this book. I started reading it, and my husband wasn't far behind. It has been a very intertaining trip to read this story, which surprisingly has quite a strong plot. As a writer I was extremely impressed with all of the different ways he found to describe steak. And, the ending...well, I don't want to blow it for you. But, I was so HAPPY with the ending.

We strive to raise the best grass fed steak around, and the one thing/place/person that I was surprised that he left out was Joel Salatin at Polyfaced Farms. Joel was the only missing element that would have completely covered the subject.

This is an excellent read, but do be got technical. But, not in an overpowering, heady way. He would sneak it in on you, and slam you in the face with it. People really need to know this information though. They need to know what goes into making the meat that they eat. They need to know the influence that industry is having over research and regulation in the food world. They need to understand how this then ties into the government regulations, and how it affects the product that ends up on the plate. The quality of food has gone down quickly in the past 20 years. Why arn't more people throwing a fit about it? Thank Goodness for books and people like this that are working to reverse the trend, and overcome it. Great work! Great Book! Great Writing!
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